Press Releases

Beyer Statement on Passage of Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act of 2015

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Washington, April 23, 2015 | Tia Shuyler (202-225-4376) | comments
With Virginia reporting the sixth most calls to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center in the nation, U.S. Representative Don Beyer applauded the Senate's passage of S.178, the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act today.

"The Senate was right to stand up for the victims of human trafficking by unanimously passing this legislation," said Beyer. "This is not a problem we can continue to ignore; it affects our mothers, daughters, and sisters.  Women and girls are targeted all across the country and it is time to do something about it."
 
S.178 strengthens the ability of law enforcement to investigate trafficking, increases penalties for perpetrators, and creates a fund to support victims - focusing on pre-adolescent girls who are most often targeted. Funded by fines collected from trafficking offenders, victims would have increased access to health care as well as non-health care related services. Victims would also have access to abortions, in cases of rape.
 
Beyer continued: "Sex trafficking is a terrible crime that we must commit to ending.  In addition to investing in recovery efforts and punishing those responsible for these heinous acts, we need to work to expand economic opportunity in communities most at risk.  This bill is a tremendous step forward, but we cannot ignore root causes that jeopardizes the safety of our family members.”
 
To see the National Human Trafficking Resource Center report on hotspots, click here.
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